Before there was Radiohead, there was Jeff Kinney (“Crossover Dreams: Turning Free Web Work Into Real Book Sales,” by Motoko Rich, New York Times):
That a book derived from free online content has sold so well may allay some fears that giving something away means nobody will want to pay for it. It also encourages publishers who increasingly scour the Internet for talent, hoping to capitalize on the audiences that a popular Web site can deliver.
"I think books are still things, thank goodness, that people want to own," said Michael Jacobs, chief executive of Abrams. "The package of the book and the way it feels is something apart and separate from being able to read it online."
Don’t look at me–I’m ripping my library so I can play my books on a Kindle. Not sure I have the right kind of headphones, though.
(Read the Booklist review of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.)